As a frugal person I often wonder whether it’s more economical to make something or to buy it. And being a busy, working mom of two, is the most economical way, the most sensible way? Should I be making my own bagels or buying them? Is it really practical to make my own cheese or cure my own meats? Well Jennifer Reese had these same questions – so she tested, tasted and crunched the costs for us in the book Make the Bread, Buy the Butter.
Amazon “personally” recommended this book to me based on my browsing history. I was intrigued and I took the bait, ordering the book even though I can’t remember the last time I actually read a whole book. It’s currently 50% off – only $13.98 for the hardcover. This last weekend we drove over to Post Falls, Idaho to see my grandma and extended family – which means I had six hours in the car (each way) without internet access (gasp!) and one of the ways I passed the time was reading this book front to back.
With 120 recipes in it – you’d think it would read like a cookbook, but Reese’s sense of humor and real-life stories made it a joy to read and I actually learned a lot. For everything from tortillas to croissants to bacon – she compares homemade vs. store bought and she carefully weighs = costs, taste and quality, and the time/hassle involved in making it yourself. If she recommends making it, she gives you her favorite recipe.
She shares her experience raising chickens, growing a garden and even keeping bees in an effort to test the theory of homegrown vs. store bought.
I’m totally inspired to try some of her homemade recipes and I hope to share them here on the blog. I’m not sure if I’m up for cheese making or meat curing just yet, but I think I can easily tackle her recipes for peanut butter, hummus, yogurt, breads and more. And even though we can often buy things for less (or for FREE) with coupons, I like the idea of homemade, wholesome food (without the additives) if the work required is minimal and the final product worth it.
If you get excited about these kinds of details and would like this kind of “research” on what’s better to buy vs. what you should make, I definitely recommend you pick up the book at your local library or on Amazon for only $13.98, ships FREE with Amazon Prime or a minimum qualifying purchase of $25.
Are there certain things you have found are better homemade than store bought? Both frugally and practically? Have you read a book lately that you thought was particularly insightful or helpful?